Government of Canada Announces One-Year Ban For Pleasure Craft and Cruise Vessels

The Government of Canada continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it is having on the marine and tourism sectors. Keeping Canadians and transportation workers safe and healthy are top priorities for Transport Canada.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced (archived) two new Interim Orders, which prohibit pleasure craft in Canadian Arctic waters and cruise vessels in all Canadian waters until February 28, 2022. This means:

  • Adventure-seeking pleasure craft are still prohibited from entering Arctic waters.
  • Passenger vessels carrying more than 12 people are still prohibited from entering Arctic coastal waters, including Nunatsiavut, Nunavik, and the Labrador Coast.
  • Cruise vessels carrying 100 or more people are still prohibited from operating in Canadian waters.

Pleasure craft used by local Arctic residents will not be affected by these measures.

With these prohibitions in place, public health authorities will be able to continue focusing on the most pressing issues, including the vaccine rollout and new COVID-19 variants.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada continues to advise Canadian citizens and permanent residents to avoid all travel on cruise ships outside Canada until further notice.

Essential passenger vessels, such as ferries and water taxis, should continue to follow local public health guidance and protocols, and follow mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and prevent future outbreaks. These could include: reducing the number of passengers, ensuring physical distancing, the wearing of masks, and enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures.

Cruise vessels in Canadian waters pose a risk to our health care systems. The Government of Canada will continue to evaluate the situation and make changes as necessary to ensure the health and safety of all Canadians. Should the COVID-19 pandemic sufficiently improve to allow the resumption of these activities, the Minister of Transport has the ability to rescind the Interim Orders. 

“As Canadians continue to do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, our government continues to work hard to ensure Canada’s transportation system remains safe. Temporary prohibitions to cruise vessels and pleasure craft are essential to continue to protect the most vulnerable among our communities and avoid overwhelming our health care systems. This is the right and responsible thing to do.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

Canada’s Cruise Ban Potential Impact on Disney Cruise Line

The following Disney Cruise Line sailings will be impacted by Canada’s ban of cruise ships through February 2022.

2021 Disney Wonder Sailings with Canadian Ports

2021 Disney Magic Sailings with Canadian Ports

Essentially, the entire 2021 Alaskan season for the Disney Wonder and one fall sailings on the Magic are all likely to be impacted. As of now, Disney Cruise Line has not made any statement regarding Canada’s cruise ban extension.

12 Replies to “Government of Canada Announces One-Year Ban For Pleasure Craft and Cruise Vessels”

  1. Guy Morgan

    Anyone have any thoughts on US originating cruises to Alaska that are to stop over in Vancouver? I know Canada is now out of the question, but with the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886, I don’t think there are other international stop options. We have a Princess cruise in June RT from Seattle but Princess is only cancelling through May as of now. Not sure there is a way around this.

  2. smedley

    at least they’ve announced early this year, last year they took us right up to the gate so to speak. Waiting on Disney’s confirmation, and we’re before next years release dates as well. I wonder when or if they’ll follow up with a full ban on international tourism till then. That will make cancelling/rebooking my flights easier too.

  3. Shari DeMarco

    I’m on tha New York cruise. I hope if they are sailing ag as in by then then just switch it to Bermuda so we can at least sail.

  4. Tammi

    I guess 3rd time isn’t the charm. This will be our 3rd year in a row of a cancelled Alaskan cruise (Unfortunately, I had to cancel the first year. Now I really wish I had just gone.)

  5. Jim Deen

    On that cruise as well, but no interest in Bermuda or any points south. Booked to go north and see fall color. Would love them to add some New England ports if Canada is not possible.

  6. Scrapping in Ontario

    I think the challenge is that a cruise must port in at least one foreign country so it would need to sail to another country which is why Bermuda was mentioned. It would need to go south to at least one port to be allowed to sail at all.

  7. AngD

    So sad as I would think with vaccines rolling out this seems a little extreme. I could see through the summer maybe. Guess my fall cruise to Halifax is not going to happen :-(.

  8. Edward Cairns

    As a Canadian, it does seem like an extreme decision, until you realize that the Canadian Liberal Federal Government has completely failed on the Covid19 vaccine file. Virtually no Canadians are currently being vaccinated as Canada has no vaccine. Canada could have manufactured it’s own vaccine but choose not to, and instead relied on foreign manufacturers that are no longer suppling Canada. It’s too late now for Canada to ramp up it’s own vaccine program – bad decisions all around. The economic impact of this Canadian Cruise Ship ban will really negatively impact the Vancouver area.

  9. Jennifer D

    Thanks for that information. I was wondering why a year more with the vaccines starting to be provided. Now I know (and knowing is half the battle). I am sorry that you have to deal with that. Stay safe!

  10. Chad

    I’m a Canadian too and “completely failed” is a bit extreme. They have had failures but also successes. You are not taking into account the provincial leadership who have most of the control to be honest. I’m in NS and we locked down early and masked up. They are now making clear when vaccination will occur (but the actual supply is a Federal issue for sure!). I think that they should have limited air transportation long ago and maybe some provinces would be in better shape and the ban would not be required but then again we need our neighbours to the south to get things under control too which they are also having challenges with. We are all in this together and we have had three cancelled and are getting a bit tired of it. I’m hoping that this Fall we can start to get closer to that light in the tunnel. Take care of yourself and everyone.


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